The return of the Lone Star Showdown on the football field will have to wait, but the return of the men’s basketball edition was noteworthy for the pairing of teams rather than the play on the court.
Texas entered the 2019-20 season with uncertainty surrounding the frontcourt. When the Longhorns battle Georgetown this Thursday at Madison Square Garden in the 2K Empire Classic, they’ll face the challenge of a skilled big man under the tutelage of Hoyas legend Patrick Ewing.
Going on the road to a tough environment this early in the season presents a myriad of question marks. How good are we really? How well will the kiddos handle the raucous crowd? How will we respond in the most challenging moments? Who will be the go-to player in clutch time?
After a strong defensive first half where Texas allowed 15 points to Northern Colorado, assistant coach Luke Yaklich looked to be Texas’ biggest addition prior to the 2019-20 season. But in the second half, sophomore guard Andrew Jones stole the show.
Texas’ season begins Tuesday versus Northern Colorado, and one of the perceived strengths of Shaka Smart’s 2019-20 Longhorns is the backcourt. Sophomore Courtney Ramey will be the youngest expected contributor joined by upperclassmen (or redshirt sophomore) contributors Matt Coleman, Jase Febres, and Andrew Jones.
It's felt like an eternity since our talks regarding Andrew Jones were about his NBA prospects and on-court greatness. It's felt like an equal eternity since Andrew averaged 15.25 pts, 3 rbs, 2.4 asts on 52/46/73% shooting over the first eight games during the 2017-18 season. It's those numbers, in particular, that feed this piece of writing.